Instrument: Saxophone | AMT Products Used: LS
“For the most beautiful crystal clear sound I have ever experienced, I use the Roam 1 microphone system by Applied Microphone Technology.” – Joe Lovano
Joseph Salvatore Lovano was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 29, 1952 and grew up in a very musical household. His dad, Tony, aka Big T, was a barber by day and a big-toned tenor player at night. “Big T, ” along with his brothers Nick and Joe, other tenor players, and Carl, a bebop trumpeter, made sure Joe’s exposure to Jazz and the saxophone were early and constant.
Joe’s mom, Josephine, and her sister Rose were serious listeners, as well, His Mom remembers hearing Big T play opposite Stan Getz and Flip Phillips when they were engaged. And Aunt Rose went to hear Jazz at the Philharmonic with Ella Fitzgerald when they came through Cleveland.
Not surprisingly, Joe began playing the alto at five, switching to the tenor a few years later. By the time he got his driver’s license at sixteen, Joe Lovano was a member of the Musician’s Union, Local 4, and working professionally. He started playing club dates (sometimes subbing for his dad), and Motown cover bands, eventually saving enough money from these gigs to put himself through college.
After high school, Joe attended Berklee and his college years were pivotal, a precursor of future collaborations and career opportunities. Joe had been searching for a way to incorporate the fire and spirituality of late-period John Coltrane into more traditional settings and at Berklee, he found it, discovering modal harmony.
“My training was all bebop, and suddenly there were these open forms with deceptive resolutions. That turned me on, the combination of that sound and what I came in there with. I knew what I wanted to work on after that.”
During his Boston years, Joe was part of a vibrant scene, always jamming and meeting new musicians, something he has done his entire life. To finance his education, he continued working club dates and other assorted gigs, including an organ trio engagement he shared with future Nonet member George Garzone down in Boston’s combat zone.